I just got a copy of the MDC / CIB Interlocal Cooperation Agreement that commits $8 million a year from the Consolidated Downtown TIF to the uses of the CIB. While the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is mentioned liberally, it is clearly a straw dog created to validate the $8 million price tag. It was approved by the Metropolitan Development Commission at their September 1, 2010, meeting.
I uploaded the agreement, if you care to review it. The terms of the agreement begin on page 7. Briefly, the agreement is for $8 million annually to be provided to the CIB, and requires 6 months notice
or the agreement will automatically renew year to year.
While the stated purpose of the agreement is "to protect, further, increase and enhance the benefits that result from the operation of the Facilities and the activities of the ICVA", the agreement specifically states that the ICVA is not a third party beneficiary of the agreement.
With this agreement, property tax dollars are now flowing to the CIB. These are new dollars. They amount to $8 million per year on an ongoing basis. The only new expenses of the CIB are the operation of the expanded convention center and the $10 million cash gift to the Pacers. It is completely reasonable to connect these dots and see property tax dollars flowing from the City of Indianapolis to the Pacers.
These property tax dollars could be used to pay off the bond obligations of the TIF district early, or to promote $8 million in new projects. Such a project could even include upgrading parking meters in the downtown area.
But, no. The Pacers are given higher priority by Mayor Ballard, than being fiscally responsible in paying off debt, or fiscally responsible in crafting an upgrade to the parking meter project, or underwriting some other deserving project in the downtown area that would actually make Indianapolis a better place to live. The Council should reject the $10 million gift in the 2011 CIB budget and let the CIB and MDC unwind this agreement.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Blogger Pat Andrews Exposes Agreemnent to Send Property Taxes to the Capital Improvement Board
Pat Andrews, my favorite local Democrat blogger (my apologies to Jon Easter and Chris Worden), uncovered an agreement (dare I say "scheme") by the City through the Metropolitan Development Commission to sent property taxes revenue to the Capital Improvement Board. She has given me permission to post her column in full: